Originally Posted by kevin
Well the Nazis gave that order after a German U Boat Commander attempted to save the passengers and crew of a ship that I believe was misidentified as a target and sunk. They had made a mistake and the Commander tried to fix it. I believe it was called the Laconia Order after the ship in question.
The Narada was not an innocent ship. Far from it. And if the assumption of guilt on a whole crew or ship is swimming against the tide of Federation idealism it would seem our man Kirk is not the only Starship Captain or Starfleet officer to take that stance.
So, one can either assume the crew were innocent apart from the the top and thus were victims. Or one can assume they were not innocent. Since we will never know then it becomes a circular discussion informed more by personal opinion than evidence made available. As perhaps is the question of whether the Narada was no longer a danger or not.
I don't doubt that both sides made 'errors of jugdment' in the real world but we are talking about a movie here from a franchise with a message about an idealistic future.
It was extremely unikely that any of the crew were completely innocent victims (leaving prisoners aside). However, the point I was making was about the assumption that they were as culpable as the command crew and thus 'deserved' summary execution. There are a wide number of possible crimes of which the crew could have been guilty that could have fallen short of the death penalty (leaving aside the issue that the death penalty only exists for treason